Hi, I am trying to self teach my self theory by using this site as a resource and I want to clarify some things, so bare with me

I was messing around with stairway to heaven, and I realized that a part of a song was playing simple arpeggios of C maj, G maj, and A min (in order). So I was playing these chords and I figured out that it sounds really good when I add an F maj at the end. My first question is "Why does the added F work with the progression?", "How can I figure out the Key of these chord progressions?"

Another question regarding Triad chord progressions (if those exist) is if I wanted to play a C triad chord progression, are minors included? like can I play C maj, E min, and G maj? I am kind of confused when I should add Minor chords in chord Progressions.

Thanks a lot with all your help. I hope I didn't lose you guys
Quote by TH3M4PPL3S_
Hi, I am trying to self teach my self theory by using this site as a resource and I want to clarify some things, so bare with me

I was messing around with stairway to heaven, and I realized that a part of a song was playing simple arpeggios of C maj, G maj, and A min (in order). So I was playing these chords and I figured out that it sounds really good when I add an F maj at the end. My first question is "Why does the added F work with the progression?", "How can I figure out the Key of these chord progressions?"

Well, let's look at the notes.
C E G
G B D
A C E
F A C

Notice a similarity between the F and the Am? I hope you do... I bolded it! The F shares two notes with the A which, right away, means it'll work as the next chord. A neat little trick for understanding progressions and making them quickly: the smallest movement possible between chord tones is probably the best/most logical choice (NOTE: Best and most logical =/= sound best). So our A and C are already there... that leaves the E. Well, it just so happens that E and F are only a semi-tone apart! The smallest possible movement in our system. Thus, it works.

Another question regarding Triad chord progressions (if those exist) is if I wanted to play a C triad chord progression, are minors included? like can I play C maj, E min, and G maj? I am kind of confused when I should add Minor chords in chord Progressions.

You don't need to refer to them as triad progressions. Just chord progressions. Seeing as how triads = chords, it just becomes a bit redundant.

First answer: Who is going to stop you? The music police?

Second answer: Refer to the bolded text. Yes

You add them whenever you feel like it. It's not a set in stone rule that Am should follow G. Or a minor chord HAVE to be after every two majors. Hell, I've seen entire measures of just major chords, and, likewise, I've seen entire measures of just minors. And then, more often than either of those, I've seen a good mix of both.

Quote by swarley
You were playing in the key of C, and F is in that key, so that's why it sounded good. It's a pretty common progression.

Here's a chart of different keys: http://www.traditionalmusic.co.uk/chords/chordchart.htm

Just because it's in key doesn't mean it'll sound good. Change that F our for a Bdim and it doesn't quite sound as good (though, an Am to Bdim vamp would be a lot of fun).
Last edited by DiminishedFifth at Jun 28, 2010,